Most people only learn how to recognize a psychopath after they have been caught. The following list is designed to give you a heads up before you become a victim, to help you avoid the heartbreak, the torment and the suffering that these types inflict.
It can also be used if you are not sure if you are in a relationship with a psychopath/sociopath and you are looking for verification of this.
Remember that if you are in a relationship with a psychopath, you may read some things here and think that they do not apply to you. This is because the victims of psychopaths have been under the influence of mind control and are trained to perceive things in a certain way. They are trained to believe that the psychopath is basically a nice person, for example, so they justify much of the bad behavior. They are trained not to criticize or allow others to criticize the psychopath and often end up defending their abuser. This may sound strange but it's exactly what goes on in psychopathic relationships.
And it's important to be able to recognize a psychopath in different settings, in an intimate relationship, at work, as a friend or in a group setting.
So let's look at how to recognize a psychopath at the start of a relationship…
If you think you have found the perfect partner, teacher, coach, therapist, friend, work mate etc within days or a couple of weeks, beware! Psychopaths are great actors and will present to you the ideal person you are looking for.
If you think somebody is too good to be true, they probably are.
If a person has consumed you within days of meeting them, you are totally enamored by them, you can't think of anything else... you need to reassess the relationship.
If somebody is very interested in you and your thinking and your ideas, but reveals little about themselves, pay attention. Or if they reveal stuff that indicates that they have had a very bad time in the past and their stories make you want to step up and take care of them, take a step back, check out their past history and don't go forward until you have actual evidence that what they are telling you is true. This ruse is so common with psychopaths it has a name, 'the pity play'.
Do they tell stories that seem a bit exaggerated which always cast them in a good light? Check the stories out, especially if you think it would be impolite to challenge them on the veracity of the stories.
Initially the relationship seemed perfect, but you notice that they have started to treat you badly.
Or they have started being controlling, making all the decisions, wanting to know where you are all the time, who you are with, what you are thinking and they want you with them every available minute you have.
If you realize that you have been justifying this kind of thing, and tolerating it when you would not have tolerated it in the past, chances are you are beginning to recognize a psychopath.
Is your partner always right? Are you always wrong? Do you get blamed for the least little thing? Is it just easier to accept the blame than to fight back?
Does your partner have control of the finances? Are you in a situation where you know little to nothing about where the money goes? Do you have to account to your partner for money you spend? Does your partner spend your money as well as his or her own?
Does your partner constantly criticize your hair, your clothes, the food you eat, your body, your weight and/or your looks?
Do they criticize your family and friends?
Even worse, are you constantly arguing with family because they don't like this person...? But you defend them saying that your family don't know him or her like you do, or that you should be left to make your own decisions. This is a very significant sign of an abusive relationship. It's a red flag, alarm bell and warning sign all in one!
Do they have access to your email and social media passwords? Do they check them regularly?
Do they have access to your mobile phone and your computer?
Do they have a say in how you spend your free time, who you are with and how long you can stay out of the house?
Or do you just not spend much time with your friends and family any more??
Male victims of domestic violence
Do you find yourself reporting back to them about practically everything you do?
Have you got to the point where you don't give them some types of information because you know it will get you into trouble?
Have you noticed that you argue about the same things over and over again?
Do you have to ask your partner for permission for things?
Do you frequently not do or say something because you know it will upset your partner? Do you realize that when this is happening, your partner has basically trained you that you don't have permission to do or say these things at that time?
Do you live in a house where there are lots of rules, and most of them are not yours?
Have you thought that you are living with a controlling husband or wife, or have others said it to you?
Do you think that your husband is verbally abusive?
Are you afraid to give your opinion or ask for what you want, because it would probably cause an argument?
Do you feel that if your partner has not got upset all day, then you have had a good day?
Do you live in fear most of the time but you are not quite sure what you are afraid of? It might be that you are afraid of what he will say, or what she will do… but it's not very specific…
Are you only happy or relaxed when your partner is happy and relaxed?
Do you find yourself walking on eggshells around your partner? Most of the time…?
Do you dread your partner coming home?
Are you afraid to talk to anyone about your situation? Because he or she might find out? Or you think others may not believe you?
Or maybe you have tried to talk to others but the manipulator has convinced these people that s/he is the good one and you are the bad, mad or sad one, and they believe your partner?
Have you caught your partner out in lies? Only to have them explain it away, tell you more lies, or accuse you of being the one that has the problem?
Is your partner a serial cheater? And even though they promise it will never happen again, and they are very convincing about it, they continue to have affairs?
Read more about dating and violence, abusive wives, what happens in a marriage to a sociopath, how to leave an abusive relationship and how to move on after a psychopath.
The workplace psychopath has several aims. Make friends with the bosses and the boss's boss, do as little work as possible, get rid of any competition, get promoted, and basically take as much as they possibly can. This may mean stealing, committing fraud and/or taking advantage of people along the way.
Nobody polarizes an office like the workplace psychopath. Some of the people may think the psychopath is the best thing since sliced bread, they consider him intelligent, hard working, destined for greatness. Others just hate his guts.
The former group has been conned by the psychopath into thinking that s/he is hard working, creative, and generally a great guy (or gal)! The second group can see that this person is lazy, abusive, a liar and is generally causing chaos in the office.
Is this person always sucking up to the bosses?
Do they make friends with important secretaries in order to tease information out of them?
Controlling behavior in the workplace
Do they trick others into doing their work?
Do they take credit for other people's work?
Do they blame others when things go wrong rather than taking responsibility?
Are some people in the office genuinely afraid of this person?
Does this person spread rumors?
Do they tell outright lies?
Is this person criticizing people to the bosses?
Is this person very good at talking themselves out of awkward situations and into good situations?
Do people in the office argue over this person?
Are people complaining about verbal abuse in the workplace?
Do you feel that this person is always one or two steps ahead of you all the time? When you try and do something, this person has already been there and blocked your path…?
When you try and tell people what this person is like, do very few of them believe you?
Do they think you might be the one who is the problem?
Do things seem to be going downhill in the office when it would seem that things should be flourishing?
Does this person play by their own rules?
Do they claim to be team players but their actions tell a different story?
Do they expect special treatment?
Has the level of stress in the office risen since they arrived?
Is there more absenteeism since they arrived?
Is their presence in the office affecting your home and social life?
Remember the phrase about the person who is prepared to stab someone in the back to climb the corporate ladder? This is typical of the workplace psychopath.
Let's move on to how to recognize a psychopath among your friends, or in groups, especially a group that you suspect is a destructive cult. Part 2. Watch out for therapy abuse by psychopaths as well.
If you think you are in a relationship with a psychopath, here are the next steps to take and you can read more here about life after dating a psychopath and more help for victims of psychopaths...
Return from How To Recognize A Psychopath to Definition of Psychopath
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You have the theory but how do you actually apply it? This book spells it out...
Do you think that you might be in an abusive relationship? Are you realizing that the group you are in may be a cult?
Do you think you are being taken advantage of emotionally, physically, sexually or financially in your relationship? Do you want to leave but you can't seem to get away?